Music Review: Pop Sprawl

RETURN OF THE CENTURY by the 1900s (Parasol)

| November-December 2010

The 1900s cull elements from their namesake century’s best pop music and reassemble them, to great effect, in this one. The sextet volleys from jagged guitars and caffeinated drumbeats to languorous strums and fiddles, all anchored by three unpretentious lead singers, nimble guitarists, and a propulsive rhythm section. A concept album, Return of the Century navigates a sinister world of cult compounds and polygamist societies. But more generally, these songs evoke Southwestern deserts, the band’s Midwestern surroundings, and the complex human sprawl that populates them.